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Get to know our 2020 Volunteer Award Recipients

October 13, 2020

Each year, The Chamber recognizes a force that makes our city function: volunteers.

At this year’s AGM, we recognized five Chamber Volunteers for their dedicated services.

Volunteers of the Year:


Darrell is our Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce representative on The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Darrell is also a Member of the Chamber’s Truth and Reconciliation Advisory and was a key contributor to the development of Truth and Reconciliation Roadmap released in June of 2020.

In his role as chair of the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, Darrell advanced the partnership with the Winnipeg Chamber, including the first joint After Business Mixer in conjunction with our October 2019 luncheon featuring Carol-Anne Hilton from the Indigenomics Institute.

Darrell has been such a great advocate and leader within our community. We are proud to present this award to Darrell.

Congratulations, Darrell!

“The recognition from such a strong community and business supporter such as The Chamber is very much appreciated. The attention and support from The Winnipeg Chamber to our Aboriginal Chamber amplified my efforts and together we were effective in building a stronger Indigenous Chamber. Being a part of both chambers is my honour and privilege.”- Darrell Brown



Last year Amanda was a co-chair for our Small Business Advisory Council. We had the pleasure of having her co-host last year’s small business forums held quarterly throughout the year.

Amanda was also one of two Chamber representatives on the Mayor’s COVID-19 Business Task Force which was established in late March. This task force was created by the Mayor to advise on the COVID-19 related impacts being felt by the business community.

Amanda’s company, Coal and Canary was also a recipient of the 2020 Spirit of Winnipeg Award in the trade category.

Amanda is a great example for our members and is a great leader within Winnipeg’s small business community.

Congratulations, Amanda!

“Thank you so much! This year has been a roller coaster ride for all small business owners. I feel there has never been a more important time to be involved with your local chamber. In today’s world we stand on the shoulders of those who support us. I want to thank the incredible Chamber staff who work so hard and give our small business owners a platform and a voice in our community. Thank you so much for this award!”- Amanda Buhse



Joanne is one of our ambassadors and is actively involved, whether it’s participating in Chamber events, promoting The Chamber or acting as a resource for new and existing members.

Joanne was the driving force behind our book and toothpaste drives for the State of The City and State of The Province addresses.

You can catch Joanne with a huge smile on her face at pretty much every Chamber event. We are proud to have such a passionate and driven advocate for The Chamber.

Congratulations Joanne!

“Thank you for this award! Thank you Loren, the small but mighty staff at The Chamber, board members, fellow ambassadors, I do share this award with all of you. In my journey with The Chamber I have met some extraordinary people and made some amazing connections. Part of the reason I continue to be a passionate ambassador and volunteer for The Chamber is because The Chamber recognizes that you can grow the economy while supporting the community.”- Joanne Patenaude


Distinguished Long-Term Service Award


Claudette has been an active Chamber member for nearly 20 years, a board director from 2013-2017, a member of the Chamber Governance committee in 2016 and a member of the Chamber Creative Leadership council from 2015-2017.

Claudette was also a member of the Chamber Board Nominating committee where she was instrumental in modernizing our nominating process.

During her tenure as CEO of the Manitoba Museum, she supported numerous Chamber events and initiatives through her attendance and sponsorship. Most recently she hosted The Chamber’s Circles of Reconciliation event in the Museum’s expanded and renewed Alloway Hall.

Claudette has also served as a champion for the arts and culture community in Chamber policy discussions.

Congratulations Claudette!

“Thank you very much! The Chamber is absolutely brilliant at how they engage volunteers, where we can provide ideas and support while benefiting from learning and networking at the same time. Thank you to The Chamber and thank you for your championing of arts and culture in Manitoba as an important industry in our community.”- Claudette Leclerc


Director of the Year


Mark currently serves as Treasurer, Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee, a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for The Chamber.

As Treasurer, Mark played a major leadership role in navigating the economic impact to The Chamber due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mark was one of two Chamber representatives on the Mayor’s COVID-19 Business Task Force, which was established in late March to consider the COVID-19 related impacts being felt by the business community.

He is a member of The Chamber’s Economic Recovery Advisory Council. As a member of the council he provided input and guidance on The Chamber’s economic recovery policy advice to all three levels of government.

Additionally, Mark lent his expertise to provide guidance on The Chamber’s presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance regarding federal COVID-19 assistance measures.

He is a passionate champion for The Chamber and our business community.

Congratulations, Mark!

“I am really honoured to receive this recognition, but it is a testament to the great people that I get to work with at The Chamber. I have always been a proud member of The Chamber, but probably never more so than I am this year. Thank you for this award, I am truly humbled to be recognized and feel really fortunate to be a part of this amazing organization.”- Mark Jones

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